JOURNAL OF SHANGHAI JIAOTONG UNIVERSITY (MEDICAL SCIENCE) ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (9): 1261-1266.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2021.09.020

• Review • Previous Articles    

Progress in the influence of prenatal exposure to phthalates on placental function and its mechanism

Qian-long ZHANG1(), Ying TIAN1,2()   

  1. 1.MOE and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children′s Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China
    2.School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
  • Received:2020-07-16 Online:2021-08-09 Published:2021-08-09
  • Contact: Ying TIAN;
  • Supported by:
    Medicine and Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University(YG2019ZDA29)


Phthalates (PAEs) are widespread in life and are a class of environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs). The abundance of hormone receptors makes the placenta highly sensitive to EEDs. During pregnancy, women can be exposed to PAEs, and their metabolites can pass through the placenta and affect its function by interfering with hormone receptors.The dysfunction of placenta will result in fetal growth restriction or, if more severe, fetal death. Functional placental disruptions linked to phthalates exposures include invasion/migration, oxidative stress, cell differentiation/apoptosis, hormone secretion and lipid accumulation.In this paper, the exposure level of PAEs during pregnancy is summarized, the mechanism for the effect of phthalates on placenta is reviewed, and the possible limitations of these studies are discussed, aiming to provide insights for further studies on the potential molecular mechanism through which PAEs disrupt placental function.

Key words: phthalate (PAE), environmental endocrine disruptor (EED), prenatal exposure, placental dysfunction

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